Duval County Public Schools McPherson & Jacobson, L.L.c. Executive Recruitment 7905 L St.

, Suite 310 Omaha, Nebraska 68127 McPherson and Jacobson Consultants: and Development

Enclosed for your consideration application, information and documentation

are the requested documents For one's consideration,

including the application,

letter of insight into the

resume and credentials.

I have also provided supplemental

which highlight my career and hopefully provide further

quality of my candidacy. If additional information or clarification is required, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Vincent F. Cotter, Ed.D

McPherson & Jacobson Consultants:

Re: Superintendent

of Schools-Duval County Public Schools (Jacksonville, Florida)
as an expression of interest in the position of Superintendent of

Please accept this correspondence Schools.

The Superintendent's number of levels.

position in Duval County represents a challenge as a leader in its complexity

on a

As an accomplished

leader with a record of success in exemplary school districts, the Fundamental to this record of success is philosophy of student and vision and framework, Certainly, a participatory to this success along with the

challenge presented by this position aligns with my experience. "continuous improvement". Additionally,

the ability to instill a belief system that "all children can learn" and an operational by creating a motivational efficiency improved. staff potential was maximized and operational management ability to mobilize community

style, which empowers all staff, was an absolute component

and business members toward common goals.


holding a leadership position in a large environment

(200,000+) such as the School District of colleagues and in a in the lives of students and finance and

Philadelphia, a moderate sized school district (13,000) or in a smaller environment, district constituents the school district. decentralized would agree that as a leader I made a positive difference With a "hands on approach"

but with the ability to delegate with accountability of personnel systems, negotiations, process.

manner, I also have a clear understanding

of course, all aspects of the instructional As evidence of the aforementioned me the following:

and student achievement

record of success, major professional organizations

have awarded

American Society for Quality's Juran Medal (Baldridge Quality Award) National School Public Relations Association Bob Grossman National Communications E-News Tech Savvy Award Philadelphia Magazine Regional Superintendent Pennsylvania Best Practices Award Pennsylvania School Boards Association Exemplary Technology District Montgomery County Outstanding Educator Award Pennsylvania State Legislator Outstanding Service Recognition Award of the Year Award Award

Finally, my experience in a variety of settings and one as a CEO/Superintendent develop the skill and value sets necessary to create a flexible organization and external pressures while maintaining the judgment

has enabled me to

that is responsive to internal

and decisiveness that always places "children

first" in the creation of a ~orl~t

Century school district.


Vincent F. Cotter, Ed.D

Duval County Public Schools Application Information Form
Title: Name: Home Address:

Jacksonville, Florida
Position: Superintendent

OX Dr.




D (other-please Telephone Office: Home: Cell:


Vincent F. Cotter 909 Tennis Way Lansdale, Pa.

(610) 656-8762 (215) 361-0918 (610) 656-8762 vinnysup@aol.com

Zip Code:



Record of Professional Education (in reverse chronology) Institution Temple University- Philadelphia, Pa. Millersville University Millersville University *Harvard University: Adm. Workshop *University of Pennsylvania: Study Council ongoing Graduation Date 1992 1979 1972 Major Educational Leadership Special Education Social Sciences Ed.D MS BS Degree

Record of Professional Experience (in reverse chronology) Title Superintendent Principal-High School Principal-Middle School Assistant Principal Dept. Chair; Teachers Teacher 1972 to 1976 Dates 2000 1996 1991 1976 to to to to 2011 2000 1996 1991 District Colonial North Penn Colonial School District of Philadelphia State Penna. Penna. Penna. Penna. Enrollment 6,000 13,000 6,000 200,000




Essay #1 A leader, who solicits, respects and values the input of stakeholders and who has demonstrated declslcn-maklng. at all levels of the organization

leadership in utilizing that input to create and sustain a culture of shared

In a school district as complex and diverse as Duval County Public Schools, a transition emphasis on communication, particularly development

plan which places

listening, accessibility and visibility appears absolutely essential by members of the

in the early stages of one's leadership with the intent of utilizing this input in the of action plans tailored to meet the issues previously identified and Focus Groups. Revisiting the consultant's report from a perspective of the School System [in Duval but

Envisioning Committee identified

"Challenges of DCPS" and the "Components valuing the information

of a Globally Competitive

County]" is a beginning point to opening the dialogue and connecting with the key constituents more importantly forward. provided in the development of appreciative

of a plan to move the district

Part of this process involves the utilization

inquiry to establish an environment areas of growth.

of respect for the past and current accomplishments identify the obstacles and impediments As a CEO/Superintendent

while, at the same time, utilizing existing data to

necessary for the identified

of Schools for eleven years with a record of building a World Class/21st as well as defined student results, by developing instructional Having previous experience in executing such a plan with the skill/personality to complement such a task builds structures for adjusting Establishing collaborative

Century district, one's skill in knowing what areas of focus will produce the greatest results and rebuilding pride in the organization,

capability and pedagogy are essential but can only be accomplished when the impacted groups have confidence in one's leadership and direction. outstanding results and having demonstrated

confidence and trust among those in the organization. the direction of the organization foundation for sustainability

through the continuous examination

of data points provides a

and flexibility. process and structures along with a strong educational and business in the lives of students, staff and the community.

Utilizing the aforementioned

acumen that instilled confidence, trust and integrity assisted me in not only "turning around" schools and a school district but making a positive difference

Essay #2

A leader who supports and empowers principals, teachers and staff to improve organizational and student performance outcomes.

Critical to the sustainability

of an organization

and the consistency of its vision is the organization's Fundamental to this concept is one's in the prioritization of

ability to nurture those empowered ability to provide opportunities issues and the development empowered

to carry out its initiatives.

for principals, teachers and staff to participate

of action plans. By creating opportunities

for collaboration

not only does in which the

one empower those responsible for designated outcomes but it creates an environment own the issue or problem and it resolution. focus groups, committee councilor participation, task force formation

Beyond the traditional participation

and regular

at administrative

faculty meetings designed to acquire input and resolution also occurs when principals, teachers enhance of Leadership Academies

(which I certainly would encourage and foster), real empowerment and staff receive professional development for administrators district. their capacity and their value to the organization.

to improve targeted skills which will ultimately Through the implementation

and those with such potential, further empowerment

can occur through career

ladders for teachers providing them with an opportunity This approach also provides a solid foundation

to expand their role within a building or a for succession within the organization. and its

Furthermore, outcomes.

one's ability to inspire and motivate is critical to the success of the organization Establishing a moral purpose for the district's mission is often the foundation connection

of that Establishing By

message. At the same time developing a professional and emotional those relationships empowering success. As CEO/Superintendent communication connectedness.

with principals,

teachers and staff is essential to having those groups "buy in" to the district's mission.

also becomes critical to developing trust and confidence in one's leadership. between mission/purpose

staff one completes the interrelationship

and organizational

it was evident to me that developing opportunities built internal capacity.

for empowerment and inspirational


with the structures for participation/input


created a positive spirit and generated pride while accessibility fostered

Essay #3

A proactive visionary, district's

able to consider, plan and implement


change that increase the

ability to recognize and respond to current and future challenges as they arise.

Utilizing Kotter's "Leading Change" and Peter Senge's "Learning Organizations", dramatically efficiency. improved student achievement By having all constituent

as superintendent,


and at the same time improved the district's operational wins, support for improving teacher capacity and providing in place it was possible to align professional development as well create

groups understand the urgency for change, creating a guiding

coalition, a vision and generating short-term the resources to do so became a reality. curriculum

With these components

with standards, become data driven and coordinate of continuous improvement.

an atmosphere

According to Peter Senge, "learning organizations the initial direction ofthe theory, as superintendent, organization is different

are those organizations

where people continually Consistent with Senge's outcomes but We, track our progress to recognize and

expand their capacity to create the results that they truly desire and have the ability to recognize when from the desired outcome." we, collaboratively defined our student and organizational

being data driven and with defined indicators of success were able to continually therefore, became an organization

through various benchmarks and adjust our direction so that the defined outcomes were achieved. that developed the ability and possess the flexibility

respond to current and future challenges as they arose. By creating strong internal fundamental requirements instructional structures based on solid pedagogy, instructional techniques high quality

and business practices, the district had the ability to flex and adjust despite legislative initiatives, federal (i.e. Core Common Standards) and budgetary reductions while maintaining practice and outcomes.

Essay #4

Someone with strong organizational internal and external stakeholders' student and organizational

and leadership skills, able to collaboratively

align and focus goals for

efforts to accelerate progress on achieving the district's


Much like the Duval County Public School District, the Colonial School is a complex learning environment in which various internal and external stakeholders viewed the pathway to success differently. developing a consensus to move the district forward district's issues and a course of action is essential. In Colonial, an open dialogue with all stakeholders that identified point in the prioritization specific "givens" provided a beginning in a unified manner, identifying In the and prioritizing

process. Utilization of the Pareto principle that focuses on the 80-20 rule the Pareto principle focuses on the initiatives that will make the most Therefore, we narrowed our dialogue to focus approach created a laser focus and coalesced support for the This improvement

assisted in the process. Specifically, the principle states that roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Stated differently, difference in obtaining the district's desired outcomes

on the 20% that will make 80% of the difference. targeted specific areas of improvement district resources. Specific short-term

rather than focusing on an array of initiatives that depleted improvements/successes immediately

plan and the vision. By aligning resources, policies and programs, the district operated in a synergistic manner. With a plan collaboratively and the district. general. developed, functional and transparent, internal and external stakeholders of the students in

owned the outcomes and worked in a cohesive manner to execute it for the betterment Underlying this improvement district not only immediately

plan was a basic philosophy that a strong and functional

benefited the students but in the long term benefited the community

Essay #5

A person of integrity

who is trustworthy

and whose relationships,

with the board and across the

district, are predicated

on honest and open communication.

With a career that spans over thirty years in school districts, employees and community describe my personal relationships believed that meaningful, transparency. information and interactions as one characterized by integrity. productive and trusting relationships are based on authenticity

members would I have always and

In confronting

complex challenges I have always relied on providing decision makers with and/or

and data required to make an informed decision. From experience the manipulation of information only erodes trust in the office of the superintendent.

the withholding as superintendent community Additionally,

Our collective goal

and board is to operate as a collaborative

team with the interests of students and

in the forefront. it is essential to assume responsibility for decisions in the district even though some so Philosophically, it is more productive to systems to

decisions may not be directly connected to one's position. Criticism often comes with the territory defensiveness and egotism are not productive accept responsibility operate as designed. Operationally, relationships represented the district's it is essential to provide board members with information responses. and attempt to resolve/rectify

the issue than to assign blame. This approach keeps

the district moving in a positive direction, and allows the district's internal accountability

so that issues are approached

in a proactive and problem solving manner.

At the same time it is also essential to develop positive

with members of the media so that the district's perspective, if possible, is always in a favorable manner. resources electronically Additionally, a detailed communication plan should harness all of provide updates on and through regular district publications

district goals, initiatives and challenges. It is safe to say that the challenges and eventual crisis will provide opportunities when approached in a proactive, transparent and honest manner. for growth and change

Do you have a Superintendent Endorsement for the state represented by the position listed on this Application Information Form?
(If you have questions regarding the requirements to be a superintendent State of Florida, contact the Florida Department of Education) in the



I certify that the information VFC

provided herein is true and complete to the best of my knowledge.

I am aware that the Florida Sunshine Act will require that all applicant information is public and can be released to the media upon request.

Applicant hereby waives his/her right to confidentiality with regard to his/her work record or criminal record and consents to and authorizes the release of information from current or former employers and/or law enforcement personnel upon inquiry under this application.

Signalure of Applicant:

~~~ Date: _7/18/12 MONDAY, JULY 23,2012

Printed name of Applicant: Vincent F. Cotter This application must be COMPLETED and RETURNED by:


Duval County Public Schools McPherson & Jacobson, L.L.C. Executive Recruitment and Development 7905 L St., Suite 310 Omaha, Nebraska 68127 Phone: (402) 991-7031/(888) 375-4814 E-mail: apps@macnjake.com Fax: (402) 991-7168

AAlEEO Employer

Duval County Public Schools, Jacksonville, FL

Closing date July 23,2012

Vincent F. Cotter, Ed.D

22 Bayside Drive Somers Point, N.J.08244 H. 610-656-8762 vinnysup@aol.com PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE


College, Gwynedd Valley, Pa. Leadership Doctoral Program Meeting, Pa.


Adjunct Professor in Educational Colonial School District, Plymouth Superintendent Accomplishments:

2000-2011 in student achievement improvement" program model

of Schools: 5000 student K-12 organization Dramatic improvement Implemented Nationally Nurtured Initiated a systemic "continuous

recognized Integrated innovative curriculum


a culture of "best pedagogical practices" and student personnel programs and empowerment communications initiatives plan

Developed internal accountability Maintained Instituted Recognized for a nationally

a high level of fiscal management renowned a culture of data-driven

and standards

decision making

Fostered a climate of tolerance

and respect

North Penn School District, Lansdale, Pa. North Penn High School-Principal: Accomplishments: Improved Instituted Integrated Maintained Colonial School District, Plymouth Accomplishments: Plymouth Whitemarsh 3,300 students/ grades 10-12 student achievement

1996-2000 on state and national assessments and programs initiative and accreditation

an Academic Academies program Technology and Learning software a national Blue Ribbon designation Pa. 6-8 and mentoring

Created a career pathways/internship



Colonial Middle School- Principal: 1,100 students/grades

Improved the teaching and learning environment Designated a USDOE Blue Ribbon School High School- Assistant Principal: 2,300 student/grades 5000 students/K-12 9-12

Central Office Social Studies Coordinator:

School District of Philadelphia, Frankford High School/M. M.L. King High School/Turner

Philadelphia, Middle/Leeds

Pa. Middle: Department

1976-1991 Chair, Teacher

L. King High School: Assistant Principal


School District, York County, Pa.


Kennard Dale Senior High School-Social Studies Teacher EDUCATION

Post Graduate:

Harvard University Administrative University of Pennsylvania


Study Council

Graduate Studies: Temple University,


Pa. leadership, Pa. 1992

Doctorate of Education, Educational Millersville University, Millersville,

Master of Education, Special Education, 1979 Undergraduate School: Millersville University, Millersville, Pa.

Bachelor of Science, Secondary Social Studies, 1972 PORFESSIONAl AFFILIATIONS AND AWARDS

Awards American Society for Quality Juran Medalist Pennsylvania 2011 Service 2011 Legislature Exemplary Service Award 2011 Award 2009 of the Year 2009 Award 2009 National Communications

Colonial School District Patriot Award for Community E-School News "Tech Savvy" Superintendent Philadelphia National School Public: Relations Association Telly Cable Communication Pennsylvania Montgomery Award 2006 Magazine Regional Superintendent

Staff Development County Outstanding Articles

Council Best Practices Award 2006 Educator Award 2002

Publications/Feature "Using Curriculum

Mapping and Assessment Data to Improve learning" article on Merit Pay, November 2009

with Bena Kallick

Metro Kids: featured Anti-Defamation Associations

League Annual Report, 2006

Pennsylvania Association American Association University Consortium

of School Administrators

(Board of Governors)

of School Administrators

of Pennsylvania Study Council for Policy Research

909 Tennis Way Lansdale, PA 19446
Email: vinnysup@aol.com 215-361-0918 (Home) 610-656-8762 (Cell)

COLONIAL SCHOOL DISTRICT, Plymouth Meeting, PA Superintendent of Schools - K-12 School System - Enrollment: 4,700+
Major Accomplishments/Initiatives


Implemented Dramatic Improvement in Student Achievement (Above and Beyond Strategic Plan for Systemic Improvement)[CSD Student Achievement scores raisedfrom lowest tier to highest tier in the

• • • ~ • • • • • •

• • • • • • •

• • •

• • •

Founded Pathwaysto ~xc~~.I!~e Pr.Q~ including: School Improvement Teams, District Improvement Teams, Master Teacher Program (nationally recognized), Building Achievement Awards Narrowed Achievement Gap Instituted Curriculum Accountability Model; Alignment of Standards, Assessment & Instruction Instituted a Data-Driven Model for Student Improvement Supported Technology Integration K-12: PDE Classrooms for the Future ($532,000 in grants) Articulated and Supported High School Reform (PW PrEP); Advancement via Individual Determination [AVID]; Career Pathways Program Increased SAT/APlMerit Scholar Achievement Instituted Ninth Grade Transition Programming (the Bridge Program and Summer Academy) Reformed District Secondary Summer School Program Developed a Career Ladder for Teachers encouraging innovation and best practice Implemented Award-Winning Professional Development Instituted Full-Day Kindergarten Revised Evaluation Models for Teachers and Administrators CreatedlImproved Communication with CSD Board of Directors Instituted bi-monthly CSD/CEA Executive Leadership Meetings Rejuvenated CITY Programming with a variety of instructional-based programs Initiated Public Relations' Outreach Program highlighting District performance and quality Proposed Numerous Facilities' UpgradeslRenovations/Additions - including Facilities Management Center; CES Renovation; PWHS Library. Worked with Anti-Defamation League to adopt PWHS/CMS as "No Place for Hate" Schools Created the District's Multicultural Committee and Respect the Difference Initiative Supported Exemplary Safety/Security Practices (Kenneth Trump Security Audit) Facilitated CMS Blue RIbbon School Recognition Created Montgomery County Social Studies Consortium for Professional Development Created Montgomery County Geography Bee (pWHS: winner 3 consecutive years) Created and implemented Lakeside Vantage In-House Alternative Program Responsible for hiring/recruiting/promoting: 5 of6 current Cabinet Members; 6 of7 Building Principals; entire Technology Department; all Special Education and Curriculum Supervisors; all School Psychologists; majority ofFMT Managers; majority of teacher leaders including 75% of union leadership.

NORTH PENN SCHOOL DISTRICT, Lansdale, PA North Penn High School Principal- Grades 10, 11, 12 (enrollment - 3,500)


• • •

Technology Integration
Accreditation for Growth (Middle States) Small Learning communities: Communication/Journalism Project lead the Way (Engineering Program) Improved Student Achievement Career Pathways!Internships and Mentorships Blue Ribbon Designation

• •




Plymouth Meeting, PA 1995-1996

Colonial Middle School Acting PrincipalGrades 6, 7, 8

• •

Middle School of Excellence Blue Ribbon Designation

Piymouth Whitemarsh High School Assistant PrincipalHouse Principal 9-12 and District Social Studies Coordinator • Curriculum Coordination: Social Studies 6-12 • Disciplinary Coordinator, Facilities Management, Security Supervision, Class Activities





Frankford High School Assistant Principal Martin Luther King High School Auxiliary Vice-Principal, December 1987 to July 1988 Acting Vice-Principal, February 1987 to November 1987 Special Education Chairperson, September 1984 to January 1987 Resource Room Teacher, September 1979 to June 1987 Leeds Middle School Resource Room Teacher for EMR, September


1978-1979 1978 to June 1979 1976-1978

Turner Middle School Social Studies Teacher, February 1976 to June 1978

EASTERN STATE SCHOOL AND HOSPlTAL, Student Practicum in SED, August 1977

Trevose, PA

SOUTHEASTERN SCHOOL DISTRICT, York County, PA Kennard Dale Senior High School Social Studies Teacher, September 1972 to January 1976 Basketball Coach Ninth Grade Class Advisor


Post Graduate: Graduate School:




Temple University, Philadelphia, PA Doctor of Education, Educational Administration, Millersville University, Millersville, PA Master of Education, Special Education, i979




Millersville University, Millersville, PA Bachelor of Science, Secondary Social Studies, 1972

~:!~~~~i~~f,r~f •• ·•·
AWARDS.-. ~- .~:-<~.~' .-. -'-. Awards


• • •

• •
• •


E-School News "Tech Savvy" superintendent Award 2009 Philadelphia Magazine: Top 50 Districts 2009 Philadelphia Magazine: Regional Superintendent of the Year 2009 NSPRA Bob Gressman National Award 2008 Telly Award Winner 2004,2006 Pennsylvania School Boards Association: Exemplary Technology District Best Practices Award (pennsylvania Staff Development Council- 2006) Gold Medal District (Expansion Magazine 2005-2006) Moody's/Standard and Poors Exemplary Rating Digital Survey Award 2004 Montgomery County Outstanding Educator Award 2002 Pennsylvania Thespian Support Award 2000 Rose Lindenbaum: Teacher of the Year Nomination (philadelphia)

• • •


Bena Kallick, Jeff Colosimo: "Using Curriculum Mapping and Assessment Data to Improve Learning," p.75-85. CDW-G Feature on Colonial School District Merit Pay - Metro Kids - Pennsylvania (November 2009) Anti-Defamation League: Annual Report 2006

• • • • • • •

American Association of School AdministratorslPennsylvania Association of School Administrators Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Horace Mann Institute Montgomery County Intermediate Unit Study Council Montgomery County Safety Committee " University of Pennsylvania Study Council Suburban Study Council Consortium for Policy Research (CPRE) @ University of Wisconsin

Provided upon request.

Major Accomplishments Dr. Vincent F. Cotter

Student Achievement: improved process.

In a very competitive

county, student achievement

scores were dramatically

through a comprehensive

strategic plan which emphasized "best practices", a rigorous of data in all aspects of the decision making

standards driven curriculum

and the utilization

zr" Century

Classroom Environments: Created classroom environments collaboration, technology integration,

that emphasized 21 Century research and problem solving. teachers to


Skills such as communication, Career Ladder: Instituted share methodologies

a national recognized Master Teacher Program that empowered and practices.

District Climate: Through community atmosphere


and active teacher/student



of acceptance and tolerance

was promoted

which reduced serious

incidents of bullying and harassment. Technology: With local and state funding "state of the art" classrooms were created allowing teachers to integrate technology into their daily instruction. Instituted a plan, known as "Above and Beyond" that utilized data district priorities.

Data Driven Decision Making: for instructional

planning at the classroom and district levels and in developing

Philosophy of "Continuous Improvement": development and continuous improvement permeated

By building internal capacity through professional that focused on students, district pride through the school district and the community. priority instructional resources at a time of declining

and other practices, a philosophy

Financial: Balanced a budget which maintained local and state funding.